Today, idiosyncratic synth-sorceress Islaja reveals the new video “Tactile Material.” The song hails from Tarrantulla, the sixth and latest album by Finnish Berlin-based artist Merja Kokkonen, AKA Islaja. The album is set for international release on December 1st via Svart Records, and is the artist’s first major solo release since 2014’s S U U. See & hear Islaja‘s “Tactile Material” video in its entirety HERE.
With Tarrantulla, Islaja returns as eclectic as ever. Synthpop collides with saxophone riffs and humorous lyricism (“Tactile Material”), folk melodies and flutes undergo electronic transformations (“Sadetta”), and interludes of pure, abstract sound-design frame lyrics from the epic Kalevala song tradition (“Emosein”).
Three songs (“Sadetta,” “Peace Pilot,” and “Robot Arm”) were arranged and recorded live in Kaiku studios with percussionist Tatu Rönkkö (Liima, Efterklang). The others were composed and recorded gradually in the artist’s own studio.
Kokkonen, who is active in the collective of female electronic music producers Monika Werkstatt, likes to improvise when playing live. Old songs are reinvented onstage, and fans will notice that a number of old Islaja songs appear in Tarrantulla in surprising rearrangements.